Easy Finnish

Easy Finnish (selkosuomi, selkokieli) is easier to understand than standard Finnish. We define Easy Finnish as follows:

Easy Finnish is a form of Finnish where the language has been adapted so that it is easier to read and understand in terms of content, vocabulary and structure. It is targeted at people who have difficulties with reading or understanding standard language.

Easy Language is even easier to read than clearly written standard language. In Easy Language, the special linguistic requirements of readers are taken into consideration by, for example, adjusting the text for the reader, using familiar words and simple structures and limiting the amount of provided information. When a standard Finnish text is altered into Easy Finnish, the process is called adaptation. In Finnish, the terms used for Easy Language are ‘selkokieli’ (Easy Language) or ‘selkosuomi’ (Easy Finnish).

Clear layout is also central to Easy Finnish. Web texts in turn need to pay attention not only to the accessibility of language but also to web accessibility.

Our website is about Easy Finnish. However, Easy Languages are developed and used in many countries. The definition of Easy Language, its target groups and its principles are language-specific, but some features are shared across different languages.

Why is Easy Language needed?

Complex language prevents many people from functioning fully as citizens in their own rights in Finnish society. The purpose of Easy Language is to help people who need it to gain information, read, express their own thoughts and participate. Easy Language is a more accessible language. Accessibility and understandability are basic requirements for independent life and influence in society.

Uses of Easy Finnish

Easy Finnish can be used in both speech and text. Many different kinds of texts can be published in Easy Finnish: printed or web texts, videos, pictorials, audio texts, books etc. Spoken Easy Finnish can be used in everyday conversations, interviews, teaching or in customer service. In all situations where Easy Finnish is used, the goal is to increase everyone’s ability to understand each other.

Our Finnish website includes Easy Language publications that are available for free online. For easy-to-read books, please see the Easy-to-read literature database (in Finnish).